Tigers, and Tigers…and uh Tigers…oh my (or burning bright?) in Batgirl #43 by Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr art, Juan Castro in inks (pgs 17-19), Babs Tarr and Michael Lacombe on breakdowns, Serge Lapointe on colors, and letters by Steve Wands.
Babs helps Alysia with her wedding, tries to keep Frankie out of the hero business but meanwhile tigers are killing her friends. Literally. Like I’m not kidding. A tiger has just appeared, killed one of Luke Fox’s new employees. Qadir is revealed to have “let the Tiger in” only we all know that’s not true. Babs tries to crack the mysterious case for both Luke and Qadir while trying to help Alysia with her upcoming wedding to her fiance Jo, who is been very, very sluggish lately. Frankie pushes harder to involve herself in the heroing business despite Babs protests and after stealing Babs mask goes and talks to Qadir. Things however take a turn for the scary when even Jo becomes a suspect…
I’m probably morbid but I liked the bearded hipster getting eaten, though I’m entirely convinced most of these extras are indeed Tarr’s friends caricatured such as the many cameos of Betty Felon and Jordan Gibson. If they’re not then great job, they made me think they were!
Frankie doing what she wants and taking Babs mask was a highlight. I’m curious to see what her “plan” (most likely “Oracle”) is and am willing to give her a shot. Qadir’s growing crush on Babs/Batgirl is cute, not often you see boys blushing in artwork so his little pink blushes are “adorkable”. Let Babs do what she wants (more ways than one) but she’s got great chemistry with everyone.
I’m not however entirely sold on this premise of this story line, and while I can get the uber-camp reveal of a new villainness (to my knowledge) I’m still very left in the dark about why this is all happening. It’s zany in a “Maybe BTAS would have had an episode like this” but I’m starting to get a bit weary of her friends sort of inadvertently always being tied up in such drama. This is why I really enjoyed the Batgirl annual which was removed from the constraints of Burnside’s bubble. Granted even the most banal of this group of (very diverse) friends is loads better than the posing and stink faces of teens and twenty-somethings in Teen Titans from the last decade.
I honestly think they ruined the entire premise by actually showing the tigers too soon. A much more effective mystery would be to show “something” prowling and attacking people and completely slipping away for the first attack. So not only is it a mystery as to why and how (did they get in the building) as it currently is but also what. Then you can reveal more. It certainly would have added more intrigue to Jo’s secret activities.
Inks were a bit inconsistent and I feel like certain pages took on a sketchier and less technically sound. Otherwise the art is good.
As always colors are gorgeous and I’m okay with this book enough but this felt a bit weaker if not laughable for that first scene which is nowhere near as scary as it should be. Still get it for Frankie.